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Attend White Cane Week 2022 events online

The White Cane Week logo

By Donna Greenidge

White Cane Week, or WCW, which began in 1946, raises public awareness of the reality of life for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

The first complete week in February focuses on demonstrating the abilities—not disabilities—of people who are blind or partially sighted. The initial WCW was created by a partnership between the CNIB (The Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and CCB (Canadian Council of the Blind). Currently, the CCB, headquartered in Ottawa and its many chapters throughout Canada, hosts various events during this week. It usually includes forums, open houses and much more. However, due to COVID-19, the 2022 WCW will hold events virtually. In addition, a few events are moving to Vision month, which takes place in May, in hopes that in-person attendance can resume.

Here are the events for February 2022. 

Canadian Council of the Blind - Toronto Visionaries Chapter Expo Forum

The Event: Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices

When: Saturday, February 12, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern (Virtual – Live via Zoom)

Important Information: Registration is required; reserve your virtual seat now.

Details: This forum will include the results from a patient survey on Ontario's Assistive Devices Program. The seminar will look at what is presently happening with this vital program and what recommendations need considering to enhance the program in the future. 
 

The Event: WCW Virtual Preventable Blindness Summit 

When: Tuesday, February 22, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern

Important Information: Registration is required; reserve your virtual seat now.

Details: A conference on preventable vision loss and blindness that includes information on:

•    How many Canadians this can affect 
•    What needs to be a priority in our healthcare system to prevent this 
•    The backlog in examinations due to Covid-19
•    Some of the very vulnerable groups of our population.

 

WCW is also a great time to revisit the Checkered Eye Project

The project began in 2000 by Libby Thaw, an Ontario woman who is partially sighted. She knew there was a need for those with limited sight who did not require a cane to have a way of demonstrating their disability. Libby designed a hands-free wearable symbol to aid in recognising those who are blind or partially sighted. For example, when someone sees the symbol on a person’s clothing, if they know what it means, they can help the person by asking if they need any help. It avoids many potential barriers and assumptions when a person with low vision interacts with other people. 

One of the missions of the Checkered Eye Project is, "to cooperate with individuals and organisations in a creative manner to increase understanding of the blindness spectrum."

These events, publications and wearable symbols help everyone on the blindness spectrum. During this special week in February, the CCB and other groups demonstrate how to support, respect and acknowledge the positive abilities of those who are blind or partially sighted.

AMI is a proud sponsor of White Cane Week.